Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thoughts on 2.4.

For a while I'd hopped on the "WoW is dying," bandwagon, especially considering the recent Hunter exodus.

On the other hand though, I just spent probably the most enjoyable four hours in-game that I have for a while.

I went and had a look at the PvP armor vendors in Orgrimmar. I've got my eye on the S1 shoulders at the moment, since they can be had by doing battlegrounds, and I'll admit I don't like the Arena very much. I think they're about 12,000 honour points, and I've got about 6,000 at the moment, so it will be a little while before I can get them, still.

They have sockets on them from memory though, as well as a nice amount of base Agility; and I've wanted better shoulders for a while. The Mag'har ones are reasonable but I'd like some with higher Ag.

So after finding out about that, I went into Warsong Gulch, and was happy to find that that game is still largely intact. The individual games are a bit shorter, yes, and the honour bonuses have gone down quite radically accordingly since I was there last, but I still had fun.

I then went to Quel'danas and did one of the bombing run dailies in the Dead Scar, as well as a few others. I'd remembered the bombing runs from Hellfire Peninsula, and I'd enjoyed those, so that was good.

I think the single main thing that I actually very much like about 2.4 is the amount of choice I feel as though I've got. There's no single path forward that I have to follow; I can decide what I want to do or what's important to me.

If I want to do the Arena, I can, but I don't have to.
If I want PvP, but don't like the Arena, I can still play Warsong Gulch.
If I want to do 5 mans, I can, but I don't have to.
If I want to farm primals, I can, but I don't have to.
If I don't feel like grouping, I can go and solo either the Plaguelands instances or the earlier Hellfire ones.
If I want some money but don't have much time, I can go and do three daily quests and get 30-40 gold in probably half an hour or less; it only took me a bit longer because the island is still unfamiliar to me.

I also have a massive number of different sources for gear now, as well. As well as the instances, there's raid gear, quest rewards, rep rewards, PvP gear, world drops, and crafted stuff. So I don't have to feel as though raiding or the Arena is my only way forward for good gear. I can go and run Strat or Scholo, or do dailies, save up 500 or so gold, buy the materials, and then get very nice items like this, which I'm also working towards as well.

Yet another goal of mine in-game is to finish getting my Argent Dawn rep; they sometimes have weekend Naxxramas pugs on my server, and I very much want to do one of those before WotLK comes out. Apparently Ahn'Qiraj is open on my server, as well; so I could check that out as well if there are pugs going for it.

I think that's actually why although I still do want to do some raiding if I can, I'd like to do the older instances partly because they don't "matter," in a competitive sense, so there'd be less pressure, and none of the usual viciousness. Just fun.

There are two minor points, however that I'm a bit worried about. One being the overinflation of my server's economy because of the new dailies, and the other being that after doing the dailies this morning, I definitely think the mana regen issue is real. I did seem to be drinking a lot more than usual.

However, both of these have solutions. The overinflation problem could be remedied perhaps by the idea that getting rare items to put on the Auction House is a novel experience in itself, in terms of running Scholo for runecloth, as one example.

If we ended up with a scenario where, rather than just doing dailies, different people made money from the AH via their particular area of interest within the game, we could possibly still have a scenario where the AH had a good supply of useful and less common items for reasonable prices.

The mana regen issue I think can be worked around by using some slightly more novel rotations, which incorporate trapping perhaps, as I've already outlined. I'm also finding though that my mana problems aren't crippling; just a little more severe than before.

I could see WoW developing a much more laid back type of feel; everyone doing exactly what they want to do in the game, and not having to interact with anyone who is unhappy because they're doing something they don't want to in order to move forward. It could actually be a very good thing.

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